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Giving to the Japanese Family Health Program

Michael Fetters, MD, JFHP DirectorUniversity of Michigan Department of Family Medicine
Philanthropic Opportunities in the Japanese Family Health Program

Since 1994, the Department of Family Medicine Japanese Family Health Program (JFHP) at the University of Michigan has been providing culturally sensitive, comprehensive health care services to the population of 6,000 Japanese-speaking people in southeast Michigan.

From modest beginnings with a single Japanese patient, the practice has grown via word of mouth and selective advertising. Last year, the JFHP had an estimated 5,000 visits from Japanese-speaking patients. The program also serves as a regional referral center for Japanese-speaking people throughout the Midwest, and as a paradigm for similar programs that seek to provide quality health care to patients with diverse cultural needs.

The program also encompasses an educational component by giving medical students an opportunity to rotate through the JFHP program with its doctors and a nurse practitioner at Family Medicine at Domino's Farms and interact with Japanese patients. In real-time clinical practice, the students are taught specifics of culturally sensitive care, principles for approaching patients with diverse cultural backgrounds, and how and when to use interpreters during patient encounters. The program has also hosted numerous visitors and scholars from Japan including medical students, residents, and physicians.

The Japanese Family Health Program also includes research activities. It is through these research efforts that the impact of culture on health care quality and decision-making can be studied in a clinical setting. Research projects conducted or ongoing include investigations on patients' preferences for communication about preventive services, a community-oriented project on primary care mental health services, Japanese couples' experiences with the birthing process in the United States, and the Japanese Health Education Project that develops educational handouts and health information for patients.

Funds:

Japanese Family Health Program Enrichment Fund

Japanese Family Health Program Research Fund

Japanese Family Health Program Education Fund

For more information on other ways of giving such as bequests, remainder trusts, fellowships, scholarships, professorships or more, please contact Amy St. Amour at (734) 998-7120 x330 or astamour@umich.edu.


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